Tuesday, January 31, 2012

S*@t you learn in school.

I asked my kindergardener what she learned in school yesterday.  She replied:

"We learned a penny is worth one cent, a nickel is worth five, a dime is worth ten, and a quarter (pronounced qwarta... in a new englandy way) is worth 25!"

And I said, "Oh, very good!" Thinking, wow, we're really getting our money's worth!

Then she said, "And, we learned that you're not supposed to say SHHHHH*T!  So and so said s*@t and I said not to say s*@t, and then they told the teacher I was the one that said s*@t!  But I was just saying s*@t to tell what she said!"

Oh, holy crap.  All that came tumbling out of my 5 year olds mouth in a big jumble, before I could shout, "Stop saying that word!"  And she said it just like that!

So I had to tell her that if someone else says a naughty word, you can tell them not to say that word, and tell the teacher without repeating the word.  Especially over and over again!

At least it wasn't that she learned it from mommy or daddy, thank God!  We can blame it on her classmates...  for now.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What's wrong with this picture?

Here is a posting from a teaching job site:

Position:Classroom Teacher
Subject Area:Athletics (Coaching) State Certified
Beginning:Aug 01, 2012
Deadline:Feb 10, 2012**
Certificate:Athletic Coach (K-12)

Job Description:
Somewhere* High School is looking for a Head Football Coach. Teaching assignments to be determined from one of the following areas: Special Education, Math, Social Studies, Physical Education or Elementary classroom.

Somewhere has enjoyed a rich tradition of football success over the past thirty years. Applicant should have complete knowledge of offense, defense and special teams, great personal skills, a high level of energy, integrity and character.

Applicants are encouraged to send a letter of application, resume', credentials, a copy of college transcripts and application form found on our website: www.somewhere.k12.ia.us to:

Administrator, Superintendent
Somewhere Schools
Somewhere St
Somewhere, IA 55555

Somewhere is located 25 miles southeast of Somewhere Else. A competitive salary and benefit package will await the candidate. Somewhere Schools is a 1:1 district with innovative practices and a dedicated staff.

The * means that I feel the school responsible for this should be embarrassed for it, so I changed the name.

Lets start with where Somewhere School's priorities obviously lie; continuing the "rich tradition of football success".  While athletics are very important to student development, one only need look at the cry for "better schools" from the public to see where the priorities should lie.  One thing that is agreed upon is that better schools will come from hiring the best, most qualified teachers possible.

So why is this school not advertising for a teaching position first, and the coaching second?  It seems to me that the district is looking for a quality coach, and whatever this person is certified to teach, they will be shoved into.  They may not necessarily be the best qualified for the teaching position.  Is this what they mean by "innovative practices"?

If this district were closer to me, I would love to apply.  I am certified to coach anything, and I'm smart enough to figure out how to coach high school football.  It may even be fun to try to break that gender barrier.  However, my priority is teaching social studies.  I'm not only certified to do this, but highly qualified, and I think, one of those teachers that would help a school become better.

But this is not where this school's priorities lie, is it?

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I know I'm a nerd, but I would put one of those bumper stickers on the back of my car that says, "I'd rather be teaching..."

I know, LOSER!

But I would!  Besides playing with my kids, being with hubby, eating and sleeping, (not necessarily in that order) I would rather be teaching.

And I got to for 3, sometimes more, classes a day, the last 6 days!  I was asked by the middle school english and social studies teachers to explain the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the 8th grade and introduce a joint project!  I know!  So exciting!

It was like spreading my wings and flying!

I made a Prezi, which is like powerpoint on crack, and I like playing with it.  I just kept adding stuff to it, like I was addicted.  I stayed up to the wee hours of the morning for 2 nights getting it ready, and even added stuff to it during the day!  And what was supposed to be 1 or 2 days stretched into a week.  I promise I wasn't trying to steal the class away, the teachers were very supportive and encouraged me to dive in, which I did, with a vengeance!

I got to add great critical thinking questions and pry open their minds to make them think about the issue in a new way, and relate it to them personally, and ask great questions and lead discussion.

It was pure joy!  Imagine me, like that dog with his head stuck out the window and his tongue rolling out, feeling the wind blow through my fur (or hair, whatever).

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Letter to my daughter's Kindergarten teacher

Dear Kindergarten Teacher,
Every Tuesday your students have to bring something from home to share for show and tell that starts with the letter of the week.  This week, we actually remembered!  I know!  We were shocked too!  Over breakfast we consulted the class calendar and found the letter to be Ii.

No problem, we thought!  I is a very common letter, right?  Surely we have something.

The first thing to pop into may head was iguana.  We have no iguana.  Sammy the cat won't pass as one, but even if he did, it probably wouldn't be a good idea for our daughter to drag him to school, via a 1 hour bus ride.

I'm not sure where my ipod is, as I use it for running and I have a clever excuse to avoid that for a while.  And besides, she's five, note the bus ride.

We didn't have an igloo in our Christmas decorations, which are still up.

Something illegal?  An illness (already did that, I'm sure)?  An idol (probs not appropriate for a Catholic school, huh?)?  She could just take me, as an example of an Idiot, who can't think up something to take for a Kindergarten show and tell... FAIL!

Maybe we should have started thinking about this last night.  I mean, I didn't even have my coffee half gone.  It's a lot harder than we thought it would be.

But, gosh darn it!  We actually remembered, we were going to send her with something!

Okay, we thought, how could we get some ice to make it to show and tell time in the afternoon?  We could grab a big chunk, wrap it in bubble wrap, throw it in a little cooler and pray she doesn't open it until she hurdles the obstacles of the sitter, an hour on the bus with friends, a whole morning and lunch, until finally she would present in the afternoon.  My husband and I debated the likelihood of this not ending in a messy, wet disaster.  No dice.

I even considered pulling a dictionary.  Now that I'm at work and have had my full dose of coffee, I thought of Illustration, which could be easy to take.  Duh. Or an inch on a ruler.  Or a toy plastic indian.  A map of India, Israel, or Iran!  A toy insect!  An instrument!  A bit of iron!  Yes, I'm using the dictionary!

But my husband had a great idea.  What helps hot things, like coffee, stay hot, and cool things, like ice coffee, stay cool?  An Insulated mug!  Of course!  We just needed to focus, and drink our coffee!

Now, we had to consider the likelihood of our daughter remembering why the heck we had sent an empty travel mug to school with her.  We did explain and quiz and make her say "Insulation" over and over again, but still, the probability is low.

Thus this letter.

The Mother of a Kindergartner

Monday, January 9, 2012

Baby has a personality!

I'm going to give away the name we have been thinking out.  We've been trying it out on baby since New Years.  I know it's odd to say but she really does have her own little personality and this name seems to fit her.  Not only that, but she even seems to like it!  She wiggles and kicks and rolls in response to it.

Lucinda Richelle Rudd

Lucinda means light, graceful or beautiful light.  We will call her Lucy, Lu-lu, or Lou.

Richelle is the feminine form of Richard, in memory of Jeremy's dad.  Richard means strong or powerful, and Rochelle means rock.  Yep, that is so this baby!

So she'll be a strong light in our lives!  And it has a nice ring to it when said all together.  She's going to be a moose!

Only about 3 more months to go!

Friday, January 6, 2012

We need a little...

The song "We need a little Christmas, right this very minute..." keeps running through my head, but instead of the word "Christmas", it should be something else.  Christmas is over, and I'm good with that, but there seems to be something lacking.

So maybe it's PMA, but that's three words and doesn't quite fit.  Positive mental attitude.  Which I am attempting to find for my new years resolution thing.  I would like to attract more positive energy into my life, but I need to put out what I want to get back.  This is according to Wayne Dyer, author of "The Power of Intention."  I love that idea, that I can manifest my destiny, pulling all I need from the universe by putting out what I want.  It has worked brilliantly in the past for me.

I'm feeling a little desperate, which is not what I want to attract.  I want to send out good Karma to get good Karma back.  I want to find my groove.  I've lost my groove.

When working with resistant learners in my job, my mantra is that they are somebody's baby.  And if it were my baby, I'd want me to be kind to her.  It's difficult when I am repeating the same things over and over again, and am disappointed when they do not do their work, do not pay attention, or do not act respectfully.  I am struggling with this.  I want to put out that I have a great rapport with these students and can help them to accomplish their goals.

With my coaching, I want to be a positive influence, and guide them to work hard for what they want and work together.  But yesterday at practice, it was such a fail, and I feel then that I failed.  I must be patient and repeat how to deal with and prevent drama within the team.  Again.  I want to put out that we are a strong, smart, hardworking team that people look up to.  I want to be proud of them.

With my parenting, this morning was all off.  We always end up yelling at our children and becoming frustrated when we have to do things for them because there is no time for them to do it themselves.  The look on my daughter's face this morning broke my heart, and I yelled at my husband, blaming him, but it is me too.  I want to put out there that we have it all together, our morning routine works like a charm, and when it doesn't I can concentrate on what is truly important instead of being worried about being late.

And finally, I'm up in the air about next year.  There are so many unknowns, like how this baby will be and how easy or difficult it will be to care for her or feed her.  What will this mean for me getting a job next year?  I really want one, really, really bad.  I'm so desperate that I'm putting out there that I'll never get one, frustrated that there are no postings yet, no signs, no chatter of possibilities.  And what will I do if I don't get a teaching job?  Will I be aiding again?  Is that what I want to do?  I want to be rolling in possibilites.  Actually, I want a social studies teaching position with my own classroom at the school I aid and coach at now.

Because all this stuff is not falling into place easily, I swing back and forth from feeling hopeless to feeling angry and frustrated, and kind of panicky.  I should be putting out to the universe that I have everything that I need to accomplish my goals, that I am capable and confident in my ability and the universe's ability to care for me.

So I need a little groove back, right this very minute!